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Signals failure halt subway services on Beijing’s Line 1 for more than an hour

A metro line running through the centre of Beijing halted services for more than an hour during the morning rush hour on Thursday, causing massive delays for commuters.

The problems occurred at about 7.30 am on Line 1, a statement from the Beijing subway company said, the oldest east-west metro line in the city which runs under Tiananmen Square.

The subway company said the delays had been caused by a signals failure.

Some passengers said their train halted motionless in tunnels for nearly half an hour.

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“It was very hot, very cramped,” a passenger told the Beijing Times. “A young woman felt uncomfortable and seemed ready to fall at any moment. Another passenger gave her a piece of candy to help her stay conscious.”

The delays came amid huge downpours, which led to water pooling on roads, slowing traffic.

The subway company urged passengers waiting on platforms to leave and use other transportation.

Staff also closed stations entrances to prevent people getting in.

Problems on the line were fixed at about 8.40 am and services are expected to gradually resume, the company said.

By 10am the traffic on Line 1 had returned to normal. at Yonganli station, there was no longer any line at the entrance security check point, and some commuters leaving the platform told the South China Morning Post they were unaware of the earlier problem.

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Other Beijing residents told the Post they were more than an hour late for work due to serous traffic jams on the roads caused by the rain. One resident said in half an hour his bus moved only a few feet at a cross road in Chaoyang district.

The weather authorities suggested citizens reduce their outdoor activities as heavy rainfall was expected to hit vast areas of north China today.

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